We first gave you some handy tips on school uniform way back in 2012, so thought it was time for a little update! If you’ve just had a child accepted to begin primary school this coming September a whole new world of clothing is ahead of you. Goodbye Bobo and Indikidual and hello grey and gingham, unless, of course, you’re lucky enough to not have a uniform like Lu’s guys…
You’ll see Back to School promotions everywhere you turn at the moment. Start shopping now. I am speaking from experience when I say that if you leave it too late the shelves will be half empty and you will struggle. Especially so if your school colours are not as easy to find. Get the staples of their uniform now and add to it later.
On the High Street
You don’t want to be replacing uniform before it has been outgrown (or until it has served all of your children), so making sure what you buy is of good quality is worth the effort. Good quality doesn’t need to be expensive, but when you think of how much it gets worn, you get a lot of use out of your buck!
Next – Love the adjustable waistbands and the quality is long-lasting – it washes well. They also sell girls’ uniform shorts which are surprisingly hard to come by but a staple in Lola’s wardrobe – skirts and culottes do not make the cut when you’re a ninja-in-training.
John Lewis – Do packs, including summer dresses that don’t have annoying hearts and flower details. (What is that about anyway?) Quality is great. Also, they provide uniforms for certain schools so worth checking out if yours is listed.
Sainsburys – Great quality and very pocket friendly. Plus they do some of the more difficult-to-find colours (like jade and brown) and are all the extras you may or may not need – like ballet kit.
M&S – Gets the thumbs up for trousers that last and they’ve also developed a range in collaboration with The National Autistic Society – think shirts with Velcro instead of fiddly buttons and pull-up trousers which go up to age 16!
Matalan – Rated by our readers when we asked a while back. They do a good range and a good price and have 100% cotton tees, too.
If the idea of your child’s uniform being grown or made in unethical surroundings troubles you, then look out for Fairtrade alternatives.
EcoOutfitters is a BG favourite and we have a discount code for them, too. Also check out Cotton Roots, an established supplier of clothing which has an emphasis on quality garments alongside strong ethical and sustainable manufacture. They can also embroider school logos. KoolSkools are definitely worth a browse too, they supply ethical school clothing and Fairtrade cotton uniforms.
This year I couldn’t find any high-street stores who were explicitly stating Fairtrade or Organic, so if I have missed something, please let me know, just leave a comment/link below.
Second hand if great for two reasons 1) price and 2) sustainability. Pop over to eBay and grab some uniform for a couple of pounds. Also check your local Facebook buy and sell groups. Our school sells unclaimed lost property at the year – last year I managed to get some practically brand new jumpers for £1 each! Also hit up the people you know with older kids in the school.
It’s not as bad as it was out there, and remember your kids are wearing these shoes for at least 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. They need to be comfortable and well made. A good pair will last you all year. We buy Kickers and they’ve lasted the year. This year the little-legged one has requested the same shoes but wants them in patent – Year 2 demands *sigh*. Fingers crossed they last as well, but I am not convinced. Anyway, back to shoes, we have done the legwork for you, so do check out these stylish school shoes.
Seriously. Label everything: shoes, clothes, lunchboxes, bags, everything! We always have things go missing and when I’m hunting through lost property I am shocked by the amount of trousers, skirts and shoes in there!
We are huge fans of an easy life and there are loads to make life easier for you. I am using Ooh La Labels this year, last year I used Stamptastic and can recommend both. Top tip. If you can, just use a surname. There’s not many Archbolds out there, so we can use the same labels, with my phone number on, for both children.
On the first day of term: take lots of photos, not least because it is the neatest they will ever look! It’s all downhill from day 1.
This list is by no means exhaustive – what are your top uniform tips?